Huge Disney Descendants fan? Check out 50+ Descendants 2 Fun Facts + Exclusive Cast Interviews with new behind-the-scenes moments & more with the cast. This post is sponsored by Disney Channel. All fanatical opinions are my own.
50+ Descendants 2 Fun Facts + Exclusive Cast Interviews
Dove Cameron. Boo Boo Stewart. Cameron Boyce. Sofia Carson. China Anne McClain. Kara Saun. Oh, and let’s not forget the legend Kenny Ortega. If you’re a Descendants fan, these names are ingrained in your brain. Now imagine sitting in a room and interviewing them all – dishing about the long-awaited sequel, Descendants 2. If you’ve let out a squeal – perfectly normal. I was fortunate enough to sit among these wonderful people who have brought Disney’s Descendants to life as well as preview a few sneak peeks of the movie. If there was ever a time to dive into everything Descendants 2, now is the time. Here are 50+ Descendants 2 Fun Facts, including exclusive interviews. From never before seen fun facts, behind-the-scene moments, direct quotes and even a few tear jerkers, these interviews are definitely going to “move” you in more ways than one.
Check out this super cute DIY Descendants Gift Box too!
Dove Cameron Interview (Mal)
Mal goes through a huge identity crisis in Descendants 2, which was challenging for Dove. “She has to start over and find what is her authentic identity for the first time in her life. Throughout [Descendants 2] she goes through a lot of incarnations of what she thinks Mal is, and doesn’t really find herself until the end. That was a weird experience for me as an actress, to feel like I knew the character really well, and then to lose her as she’s losing herself, and then to find her as she finds herself.”
One of the best lines in Descendants 2 isn’t even Mal’s. “One of my favorite storylines actually isn’t my own, it’s Lonnie’s. She has this beautiful, empowering message for girls that gets me every time I see the movie.”
Dove did her own stunts, including sword fighting in killer heels that are “one inch short of being stilts!” she laughs.
Playing Mal is therapeutic for Dove. “She’s my girl! I related to her so much. Even though all of the characters and Mal are in fantastical circumstances, their experiences are very relatable. A lot of people don’t always have an easy home situation. They don’t always have all the support that they deserve. I think all of us can relate to feeling like we lacked something there that we now have to deal with as we’ve gotten older. That was something that I had such a lovely time with, for myself psychologically and also as an actor, to inject pain into an experience that we all share. This is a movie for children, and so we have to ride that line between communicating really helpful and relatable messages, but still keeping it light. That was challenging and interesting for me, and I did bring a lot of things I felt like I lacked from my own childhood. It definitely helped keep Mal real. It also helped me as a human to explore somebody else’s issues, and to fix my own at the same time.”
Dove Cameron had one of the most moving and thoughtful answers to the messaging for Descendants 2 for our kids today. I couldn’t even condense it because it was so beautifully well said. “There’s a beautiful synergy between the fact that the whole cast has been having this yearlong love affair with each other. We’re so there for each other in a sibling-like, familial way and it translates to the film. It projects a message of togetherness, of banding together, of supporting people that you love. That sounds like such a simple concept, but when you’re absorbing things as a kid, separatism is such a thing. We’re encouraged to be our own island. Especially with things like social media, we all have our own brand and image, and that’s what’s taught. I think that it’s so beautiful to rely on and trust people. If you hand someone your whole heart, they’re much more delicate with it. So I do believe in trusting the world around you, and I do believe in kids learning to rely on each other and their surroundings and the world in general. It’s just a really empowering story. There’s not one character that doesn’t go through some weird arc where they’re much more fully formed and healthy. So the overarching messages would be the importance of help, togetherness, support and trust.”
China Anne McClain Interview (Uma)
China was already a fan of Descendants before signing onto Descendants 2. “Joining the cast of “Descendants” was surreal for me. It was an honor because everyone loved the first film and I was a fan of the first film.”
China’s favorite Disney villain just so happens to be Ursula. “She is one of my favorite movie villains ever. She has so much attitude.”
China prepped for Descendants 2 by watching The Little Mermaid 20 times. “I was looking at [Ursula’s] mannerisms, how she talked and everything that she said, and that helped me a lot on set.”
It was the first time for China to play a villain. “It’s cool to play a villain. We all have those feelings inside that we just want to unleash on people sometimes, and that’s the definition of Uma’s character. She has always bottled up feelings that she randomly unleashes on people and is not sorry for it at all.”
Here’s the scoop behind Uma’s hair. “They braided the perimeter of my head in the back and the rest of it was a wig. They braided all of this with teal extensions and I walked around for the length of shooting with these braids. It was really cool and it was quick every day. You would think it would take a really long time, but they just slipped the wig on and put the hat on.”
China celebrated her 18th birthday on the set of Descendants 2. How did she celebrate? “I mean a lot of [the cast] just picked on me. They said, “It’s your birthday! We’re going to go out and you’re going to have fun! You’re not doing anything on your birthday!” So it was really fun being around them because they’re such a cool cast. They’re like a family and they included me immediately.”
China did 3-weeks of rehearsals – with her long teal braids. “It was difficult working in the costumes because I had a skirt and heels on, not to mention the heavy braids and the leather jacket. I had to do a dance number in all of that, and part of [the process] is just getting adjusted. We did three weeks of rehearsing before we started shooting, and part of the rehearsal was with the wig on. I thought, “I’m going to wear this so I can get used to doing the dance numbers in it.”
Uma’s character brought a whole slew of new challenges for China. “I think the biggest challenge playing Uma was probably making her relatable and trying to make her likable because you can’t mess with the VKs. The [fans] love the VKs and I see why because in the first film they are really, really good and they connected with a lot of kids. So, just making kids not dislike her and helping them to understand her was probably the biggest challenge.”
“What’s My Name” was one of the last scenes shot for Descendants 2. Uma and her pirate gang only had 1 day to rehearse “What’s My Name” on set before shooting the next day.
There’s more to Uma than just a villain. She can’t reveal details but “you will definitely see some dimension to Uma’s character. You won’t see her be upset all the time. Trust me.”
China McClain has known Cameron Boyce even before Descendants, since he was nine years old!
Harry (Hook’s son) plays Uma’s best friend in Descendants 2.
China, Thomas (Harry) and Dylan (Gil) all have matching tattoos that they got after filming Descendants 2. “We got really close on set.”
Boo Boo Stewart Interview (Jay)
Boo Boo doesn’t see Descendants 2 as a sequel. “This movie stands alone. It’s its own thing.”
“Ways to Be Wicked” was very difficult to film. “It was actually hard [to film] because we didn’t use real apples to rehearse. We just used tennis balls and things like that. That was one of the trickier [challenges] because you have this army of dancers, and if one person drops [the ball] then you have the tennis ball rolling around [while everyone else dances].”
Descendants 2 was more physically demanding than the first movie – more stunts, more intense dance sequences, more expectations.
Lonnie has more than just a really good line in the movie. “There’s a really nice, subtle storyline that Jay has with the character, Lonnie. He’s the captain of the Swords & Shields [fencing] team and it’s in the rule book that it’s a guy sport. [Lonnie] shows up and pushes him to let her be on the team. As far as rules go, Jay has to decide between sticking to tradition or breaking the rules and being kicked off the team and losing his title. So he has to accept change and in his decision, there is a nice storyline.”
Cameron Boyce is the younger brother Boo Boo never had. “Cameron and I are always just laughing, honestly. We have an older brother, little brother relationship. It’s a very strong, female-driven shoot, so to have another dude to be friends with – it’s refreshing.”
Boo Boo Stewart hopes that his character Jay can teach kids to have an open mind. “Just having an open mind is such a different, rare thing for a young boy to have. So I’d like it to not even be a question that young people should have an open mind. It just should be how it is. Jay’s opening the door for the people to follow.”
“Chillin’ Like a Villain” was filmed in the middle of an actual rainstorm, making wind and rain challenging during filming. “I say that we had a great time because it was actually a disaster in the best ways possible. It was a beautiful disaster!”
Boo Boo Stewart’s favorite souvenir was a Jay inspired pin made by Kara Saun.
Boo Boo trains hard for his very physically demanding role. “I just got into climbing and I’m training in martial arts. I like hiking and camping.”
Boo Boo Stewart is proud of Descendants’ inclusion of diversity. “I’m really happy that stuff like “Descendants” shows that the world is diverse.”
Unfortunately, Descendants 2 won’t feature Jafar and his relationship with Jay. “This film really centers around us just going back to the Isle to rescue Mal, to bring her back, to figure out what’s going on with her, and just getting our lives together.”
Cameron Boyce Interview (Carlos)
Everyone was committed to making Descendants 2 even bigger, with even bigger physical sets. There’s no water in the pirate ship scene.The boat is real but “it was all green screen.”
The finale is going to be amazing. “There were a lot of variables that we had to take into account. That probably [took] over four or five really long days. It was intense because there were some elements we added that made it a little difficult and [that were not a part of] our rehearsal. It was challenging, but we got through it and it looks amazing. The finale is probably my favorite number.”
Carlos is more than the comic relief in Descendants 2. “In the second movie Carlos finds out that he can bring something to the table for the team, and it’s different than everybody else. Obviously Jay’s the muscle and Mal is the brains. Carlos figures out that he’s a sensitive guy. He realizes that he can use that [sensitivity] to bring the whole group together.”
Carlos experiences “girl troubles” in Descendants 2. “He’s a little bit lost and flustered and confused and has feelings that he has never had before. He figures all that stuff out eventually and he reaches out for help, which is important.”
Sofia Carson Interview (Evie)
You’re going to love the new characters. “It’s always an interesting dynamic because there was the four of us, the core four VKs, and they introduced these three new, awesome villains. From the very first day, Uma, Harry and Gil were always a part of the family and they really added such an incredible dimension to the film. They’re so cool and so wicked. Gil is hysterical.”
Evie changes a lot in Descendants 2. “In the second movie, Evie has really grown into herself. She is strong and independent. She’s smart. She’s a fashion designer. She has made her dream come true without a prince and she’s become a leader.”
You’ll see more of Evie and Doug together. “Yeah, you’re going to be really happy [with their relationship] in this movie. They’re business partners. Doug, who’s really good with numbers, is helping her organize the business side and the financials of it all. At the same time, they’re together and Evie’s so happy because Doug loves her just the way she is. She loves him for who he is and it’s a really beautiful, sweet relationship.”
Sofia hopes to empower young girls by being that positive role model. “Growing up, I was [a typical] daughter. I was obsessed with Beyonce, J-Lo, Lizzie McGuire, all these incredible female role models. I grew up with really incredible, strong women as my mother and grandmother, so strong female women were always an inspiration to me. I thought, “If I’m ever lucky enough to be able to do what I love, I want to be that [inspiration] for other little girls in everything that I do, everything that I say, every role that I take on, and every song that I release. It’s very close to my heart to make sure [everything I do] has an empowering message for the 16 year-old daughter out there who I know is looking at me and [who my actions] could impact in some way. I just want them to know Evie’s message, which is: as girls, we can do anything and be anything and no one should stop us. I want them to know that the most important thing in the world is to be beautiful, but that beauty comes from our hearts.”
All of the girls in Descendants 2 wear the same shoe size. “We like to borrow each other’s shoes.”
Kenny Ortega drew from Sofia’s personal style to dress Evie. “I have so much fun with Kenny working on how to create Evie’s wardrobe. In “Descendants 2,” he really wanted to see a lot of me in [Evie’s wardrobe] because I tend to gravitate towards things that are very feminine and classic, but with an edge, but always very classic.”
Kara Saun Interview (Costume Designer)
Kara Saun, Project Runway runner up from season 1, is the costume designer behind Descendants. It’s her job to create not only the costumes for the entire Descendants world, but she’s also the fashion consultant on the Disney Consumer Products that your kids get to wear and own as well.
Kara Saun was designing outfits for Descendants 2 even before the sequel was announced. Called her “Disney vaults,” she kept reference books full of ideas and fashion narratives. She also watched the movies over and over.
Descendants 2 fashion line is full couture, with a polished punk look, detachable pieces for multiple looks, and custom bags and shoes.
Each character’s outfit is handmade detachable leather that’s been hand-painted, distressed, and all have custom embellishments for the character. For instance, “China’s outfit has hundreds of little icons on it – shells, starfish, crabs and just everything. Mal has the dragons, Evie has hearts so it can literally be a game to go through it and find all the icons for everybody.”
Multiples are made of each outfit as well, as they have to endure endless dancing, water, and stunts. About 1,500 costumes were made for Descendants 2.
Uma’s turquoise colored outfits were inspired by Ursula’s ridiculous eye shadow. The braided hair and fringe represent the tentacles. “She has fishnet and seashells and just literally everything on her shoes so you can hear them when she’s walking.” She’s also covered with little icons – shells, starfish, crabs because Kara Saun met with Kenny Ortega one day and he said, “I want Uma to look like you dragged her on the bottom of the sea.” I said, “Okay, we can do that.”
New characters Gil, Gaston’s son and Harry, Hook’s son join to form Uma’s pirate crew. “I call them Scallywag Swag because it’s really a mix of pirate punk, military and bohemian [fashion]. It’s a really fun fashion-forward twist.”
New character Dizzy, Drizella’s daughter, plays an important role in Descendants 2. Look for that scene. Dizzy’s dress includes hundreds of fabric pieces sewn in.
Thomas Doherty (who plays Harry Hook) is originally from Scotland. Look for a hint of Scotland in his pirate costume. “He asked, “Can we have a little Scotland fabric?” So you can barely see it but there’s a little bit of plaid underneath in his jeans.”
The boys each had one pair of shoes in 5 different styles – from embellished boots to embellished high tops.
All of the girls cast agreed that they needed their heels. Their custom shoes include very sturdy and thick heels for dancing and safety of the actors.
Each cast member received a special keychain with their iconic character symbol as a gift from Kara Saun.
Sara Parriott (writer), Josann McGibbon (writer), Kenny Ortega Interview (Director)
Kenny Ortega pulled from many different musical inspirations for Descendants, including “Hamilton,” “West Side Story,” “Peter Pan,” Bob Fosse and even Michael Jackson.
Josann McGibbon admitted that they saved Ursula’s child in the hopes of a movie sequel. “I think we had always known that Ursula is the villain that people love and we saved her in hopes that there would be a “Descendants 2.”
Kenny Ortega hopes that you will “feel” what he feels when he watches Descendants. “If you’re like I am, when you watch this movie you’re going to feel a little bit of Michael. You’re gonna feel a little of the classic movie musical. You’re gonna feel a little bit of Peter Pan and the adventure of old Disney.”
Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon originally wrote Harry Hook to be more goofy and fun. Kenny Ortega nixed that idea.
Why does Kenny Ortega love directing musical movies? “Before I was a choreographer I danced and there were things that I couldn’t say, that I didn’t know how to say, that I was afraid to say. But I could dance them and so I could communicate through movement. And I think that was always a big thing for me. Dance was an opportunity to communicate and to have conversation. And that’s what I love about doing it. Where the words stop on the page, the dance can continue to evolve characters, can continue to evolve relationships, can continue to tell story, so that by the time you get to the end of the dance you’re further along than you were when you started it.”
Kenny Ortega’s resume is impressive with a long list of successful musical films including Hocus Pocus, High School Musical and now the Descendants movies. What does he hope for his legacy? “What I try to do always in my life and have for a long, long time is to make good choices. Entertaining people with fireworks, color and dance moves has never been something that I’ve been interested in. I’ve always been interested in those stories that are layered beneath the dance, beneath the words or beneath the music. My choreography is always storytelling, and so there’s a story that is living inside of all that movement. I hope that my legacy one day would be that I told good stories and that they were important stories, and that there were some good stories through my choreography.”
Can’t wait for Descendants 2? Be sure to check out the exclusive merchandise, trailer and more in my first Descendants 2 post. Catch the long awaited sequel premiere on July 21st at 8 pm ET simultaneously broadcasted on Disney Channel, ABC, Disney XD, Freeform, and Lifetime.
Will you be watching the premiere of Descendants 2 on July 21st?
I was invited to attend an all-inclusive press trip, sponsored by Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more Disney insider information, movie updates and entertainment!